Within the Sparidae family there are a total of 39 different genera, one of them being the genus Dentex to which the species in this file belongs, Dentex dentex. It is a demersal species, that is, it lives near marine rocky bottoms up to 200 meters deep. This species occurs along the west coast of Africa (Ras Nouadhibou, Mauritania), through the Canary Islands and Madeira, to the British Isles in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is also present throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
Dentex dentex has an oval body, moderately deep and laterally compressed. Although we usually observe individuals up to 50 cm, there are records of specimens that have reached 100 cm in total length. The cephalic profile of this species is slightly rounded in adults, and practically straight in juveniles. The face is formed by small eyes with a large suborbital space, the mouth is located in the lower part of the head and oriented slightly oblique. Inside the head, we find in both jaws several rows of cone-shaped teeth, the outer ones being the most robust. The dorsal fin has 11 spines and 11-12 soft rays. The length of the spines is increasing from the first to the 4th or 5th spine, the rest of them being more or less the same height. The anal fin is formed by 3 spines and 7-9 soft rays.
Regarding the coloration of Dentex dentex specimens, they are grayish when they are juveniles, having black spots on the back and upper sides, which as they mature sexually become pinkish. Adult specimens are bluish gray, and the dark spots that were present in youth become more or less diffuse with age. Some specimens have yellowish tones in the area just behind the mouth and eyes, as well as on the gill covers, that is to say the opercula.
Dentex dentex is a carnivorous species, which will have among its prey various species of fish, mollusks and cephalopods.Photos: